CrossCode

banner.jpgCrossCode is an incredibly fast-paced 2D isometric 16-bit styled RPG/platformer that’s heavy on puzzles. The game focuses on the story of an obscenely adorable amnesiac girl named Lea inside the MMO CrossCode. It deals with her personal story trying to remember who she is as well as trying to find a few people for a helpful stranger named Sergey whose patched into Lea’s visual and audio sensors. Think of him like a hologram that generally only she can see and hear, which totally wouldn’t make her seem batshit insane or anything.

Anyways, in game, the MMO is different from what we’re use to, instead of just logging into a computer and playing a character in a digital world created with 0’s and 1’s, this place is a real landmass. The world is on a Moon so the MMO world is a real place people could feasibly visit although that would be considered cheating and likely heavily against the law in their world. The CrossCode MMO world is therefore physically built, and ironically the places under construction are still called patches.

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Sergey, and Lea on a boat, tutorial time baby.

The entire player world is created of something called instant matter, a super lightweight material that fragile but fast and dissolves when it gets too wet. This includes even your avatar. They mixed the world with augmented reality in such a way that the augmented bits affect the world around you. Only those logged in or those wearing special headsets can see the avatar’s weapons; a set of dagger/sword like weapons and balls they throw. It’s weird and really cool to think about honestly. There are characters in the game who are real people and don’t have headsets, they can see your avatar and they also see instamatter boxes, your avatar can destroy the boxes by throwing balls at it, the person wouldn’t see the balls but would see the box suddenly poof into nothingness. It’s an interesting concept that explains why avatars are so fast, why they can’t swim, and why people don’t just leave the planet with them and wreak havoc in the real world.

Lea actually starts off outside of the game world which they call the Playground, basically it’s like a WoW elf waking up inside of a youtube comment section instead of on WoW, it’s not where it’s suppose to be, like at all. It seems Sergey put you on a ship to bring you back to the Playground, the ship is one of many that does work hauling stuff to the game world for maintenance. Here you’re given a tutorial and then introduced to the Playground; so that you aren’t labeled a cheater, you’re put into the last starter dungeon that everyone is suppose to do. You finish it and go on your way in hopes that the game will make you remember who you are.

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Smug Lea is best Lea.

Lea is a semi-silent protagonist, her speech module is broken as such she’s mute, however she’s given words on occasion that are hand coded into her avatar’s complex code by the ever… kinda helpful Sergey. When you’re given new words, it’s one, just one at a time most of the time. The speech module issue is known as a thing that happens in the MMO but is super rare in the game’s world, and because it’s so rare no one thinks of it, so everyone thinks Lea is just really quiet. It’s honestly comedic gold, almost every conversation becomes a joke at your own expense but it’s still great. Along with this I should also mention, everyone is technically a silent protagonist in this as there’s no voice acting, as such get prepared for a LOT of reading, it’s not just in cut scenes either, occasionally your allies will say stuff about landmarks or even enemies.

Combat can become extremely hectic, if you wanted you could kite all the enemies together on the entire screen and fight them all at once. I really don’t suggest that, I’ve done it by accident, it wasn’t fun, I died so… so fast. Anyways, you have a guard but it’s weak and is destroyed fairly easily. Instead it’s about dodging in and out of combat, attacking with melee when you can, or you can be like me and be a chicken shit who sucks at the game and you can uhh… yeah, you can smash your balls into their faces, yeah you read that right. Eventually the enemies get tougher, having elements they use, but you get stronger alongside them, gaining access to new elements with every major milestone in the MMO world’s story progress. However the process of fighting never really changes, you just get to attack enemies with what they’re weak against. Well if you’re smart anyways, I usually did the opposite cause I panicked… yeah… I said I sucked for a reason.

There’s two types of puzzles in the game and sometimes they mix together but usually not. The first is platforming puzzles which are all about you trying to get to a chest. These start out easy; eventually you have to go halfway across the map to find different areas to jump to, to get to a chest. All of the chests are worth getting though as many include amazing equipment or good to rare trade items. This is sometimes really annoying because there’s a couple large maps and you can get lost fairly easily even with the game’s map because it just tells you which large section you’re in instead of anything pinpointed. The second type of puzzles are elemental puzzles, these are the real deal. You typically need to throw one or more of your powers in a ball to power a switch. Later on as these become more complex and you have to use more powers. Often you have to use their unique tendencies like the fact that the electric power follows along walls, and the fire one causes steam, etc to solve issues in order to power the switch. These can get extremely complex looking, thankfully, though most of them are actually fairly simple once you know how to do them. But looking at them, oh man is it daunting. Many of the later puzzles also require pretty good timing as you have to create, open, and block different pathways while your powered up ball is moving towards its target. The timing bits can get a bit tedious if you’re like me and aren’t very good at them because often they require good timing and precision throwing of your balls and that’s just a lot to do all at once. Also because of how complex some of them look at first, they can get really hard to figure out and all you wanna do is bash your head against the table. I had to look up guides here and there to get through some of the puzzles because they’d introduce something new and none of it is explained which can make puzzles difficult to understand.

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Just a fragment of one of the many puzzles in the game.

There’s two types of puzzles in the game and sometimes they mix together but usually not. The first is platforming puzzles which are all about you trying to get to a chest. These start out easy; eventually you have to go halfway across the map to find different areas to jump to, to get to a chest. All of the chests are worth getting though as many include amazing equipment or good to rare trade items. This is sometimes really annoying because there’s a couple large maps and you can get lost fairly easily even with the game’s map because it just tells you which large section you’re in instead of anything pinpointed. The second type of puzzles are elemental puzzles, these are the real deal. You typically need to throw one or more of your powers in a ball to power a switch. Later on as these become more complex and you have to use more powers. Often you have to use their unique tendencies like the fact that the electric power follows along walls, and the fire one causes steam, etc to solve issues in order to power the switch. These can get extremely complex looking, thankfully, though most of them are actually fairly simple once you know how to do them. But looking at them, oh man is it daunting. Many of the later puzzles also require pretty good timing as you have to create, open, and block different pathways while your powered up ball is moving towards its target. The timing bits can get a bit tedious if you’re like me and aren’t very good at them because often they require good timing and precision throwing of your balls and that’s just a lot to do all at once. Also because of how complex some of them look at first, they can get really hard to figure out and all you wanna do is bash your head against the table. I had to look up guides here and there to get through some of the puzzles because they’d introduce something new and none of it is explained which can make puzzles difficult to understand.

Lastly for any of you who are like, tell us how you really feel. I put just shy of 118 hours into this game in around sixteen days. It’s music is beautiful, Lea is great, the characters are hilarious, and the story is a bit cliched but has some nice twists. The puzzles are phenomenal and can get really difficult, which I personally like and the combat is pretty fun even though I suck at it. Who needs to dodge anyways, you can always tank it or die. I fucking love the game and the devs are adding some more free content to it hopefully this year including a New Game+ mode, which I can’t wait for. They’re thinking of a paid for DLC in the future to continue the story which is highly enticing to me right now. Cause honestly I just really want more of the game right now, I put in that many hours but I still want more, it’s like a good book when you get to the end it’s never enough.

 

end banner.jpgCrossCode was developed by: Radical Fish Games

Point of Sale: Steam

$20.00: Girls with scars are badass, as says Lea.

 

AThe Seal.png review copy was provided by the publisher Deck13.

darkmikasonfire has awarded CrossCode The Indie Gamer Team Seal of Approval

 

 

 

 

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About darkmikasonfire

Here's a link to my website, it has my contact information on it for verification purposes: https://darkmikasonfire.wordpress.com/ I play Xbox & Steam games then review some of them. My gaming focus is VNs, RPGs, JRPG, FPSs, Stealth games, and Puzzle games, with a special preference for anything Yuri (lesbian). I'm legally blind so I avoid Versus game types and modes but I love co-op stuff. I write reviews for SMLpodcast on youtube and for IndieGamerTeam on IndieGamerTeam.com.
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